IOWA FAITH & FREEDOM COALITION LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
June 3, 2013
FIRST SESSION 85TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADJOURNS
Finally, 20 days after the scheduled May 3rd adjournment, the Legislature completed their “deals” and went home.
Based on everything we heard and read, both sides, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, gave up something they wanted, and the result was nobody wins the session and the only losers are the people of Iowa. Why do I say that? Because the people of Iowa did not get an appreciable property tax cut or any other kind of tax cut. Education reform really isn’t; the state will go on the hook for more federal Medicaid spending; Planned Parenthood will continue to dip into the state treasury to the tune of $5 million plus; voters will not have to show a valid ID in order to vote; local governments will continue to reap exorbitant fines for minor traffic infractions via traffic cameras and, sadly, Iowa will continue to be one of the most abortion friendly states in the U.S.
There are, of course, a number of wish list items the liberals (Democrats) wanted that they won’t get. But they can cry in their own beer; I’m not going to do it for them.
There were other issues which fall into the category of losses for Iowa’s citizens, at least from our perspective, and I will mention them in subsequent reports this summer. I’ve decided not to write just one wrap-up report. Since there are so many things of which I believe you should be aware, putting it all in one report would make it too long and boring and discourage you from reading it. Egotistically speaking, I think what I report has some relevance and, therefore, you can benefit by reading it.
As I mentioned earlier, Iowa will continue to be one of the most abortion friendly states in the union. Bills were introduced in both the House and Senate to confer “personhood” from the moment of conception, prohibit abortions of in-womb babies after 20 weeks of gestation, limit the use of pharmaceuticals to induce abortion by miscarriage, prohibit state funds from being granted to entities that perform or refer for abortion, prohibit gender selection abortions, prohibit funding of abortions in Health Care reform implementation, and prohibit abortions by a constitutional amendment. All these efforts failed to make it to the floor in either chamber. Restrictions on
“web cam” (chemical) abortions got as far as approval by a House subcommittee, but advanced no further. (See my March 18, 2013 report for a more detailed discussion of HF 173.)
One minor change regarding state funding for abortions was made in the HHS Appropriations Bill, SF 446.
In the past, Medicaid staff routinely approved payment for, usually late-term abortion, when a fetal abnormality was discovered. About twenty-five abortions a year, most, if not all, performed at the University Hospitals in Iowa City. There is little information available regarding the severity of the fetal abnormalities qualifying for state payment. However, in our opinion, no fetal abnormality that doesn’t place the mother’s life at risk justifies the taking of precious unborn life. Even a life that may have little chance of survival outside the womb is God’s creation and, therefore, deserves protection. Discussion of the merits of our position would require more pages than I can commit to at this time. So I ask that if you disagree with this position, research the topic, think about it, and consider the ramifications of a lower standard for deciding which life we should defend.
The change made in the final hours of the Legislature’s discussions of these state funded abortions gives the Governor’s office the responsibility of deciding the merits of each one of these procedures. They are no longer automatically approved by Medicaid staff. Just how the Governor’s office will carry out this new responsibility is unclear. The Governor’s staff, including his attorneys, will, I’m sure, be addressing this issue in the near future. When we find out just how this is going to work, we will let you know.
We were disappointed but not surprised that a Legislature that requires some support from Democrats (mostly in the Senate) to pass abortion restrictions did not do so. But the next session precedes an election and some Democrats and even squishy Republicans will be under pressure to remove Iowa’s stigma as an abortion friendly state. I don’t really care what their motivation is. I just want to save some babies, as many as I can. I wish we could save them all.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
My wife was born in Philly. She has relatives who still live there. They are fine, decent, God-fearing people. They are as sickened about what went on in Kermit Gosnell’s abortuary as are we. If you don’t know about him and the horrors he and his staff committed in the name of a “woman’s right to choose,” Google him and learn what the so-called “free press” tried to hide for months. Only a few media outlets (led by Fox News) covered the real story. ABC, CBS, and NBC, among others, should hang their heads in shame for their neglect to inform.
However, when they were finally embarrassed enough to give the Gosnell case some coverage, it seemed to me at least, they focused their attention on the filthy condition of the facility, the lack of modern sterile medical equipment and the impoverished clientele, not the savagery of the procedure.
Would it make any difference if these late-term abortions were done in a pristine facility by well paid, highly trained staff using the latest, sterile equipment? Would it be more acceptable if the butcher were a board certified OB-GYN employed by a major University Medical School? Actually, yes. Dr. Gosnell was accused and convicted of murdering babies who were born alive because he botched the abortion. If he had made sure they were dead in the womb “with intrauterine or intrafetal injections of digoxin or KCI” as Dr. LeRoy Carhart does, or did what was described as a procedure used by Dr. Jill Meadows (formerly Jill Vibhakar) who simply “grasps fetal parts that start coming through the cervix and then regrasps or twists those parts at a higher level in the cervix or uterus, rather than continuing to pull on the part such that it disarticulates,” he could not be charged with murder. The court record states further that, “Whether the fetus delivers intact up to the fetal head, or whether Dr.Vibhakar has disarticulated the fetus in some fashion in the course of removing the fetus, she must compress the head in some fashion in order to fit through the cervix.”
In other words, Dr. Vibhakar (That’s Dr. Jill Meadows, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood.) takes the baby apart in the womb and crushes the skull to remove the baby. Not horrific enough for you? How about the fact that she does not anesthetize or kill the baby with a lethal injection, as does Dr. Carhart, before she starts pulling him or her apart? Legally, that is brutal, but not murder.
Doubt what I’ve said here? Everything in quotes can be found online at http://www.justice.gov/osg/briefs/2005/2pet/7pet/2005-0380.pet.app.vol.1.pdf. They are quotes from a Supreme Court case, Carhart vs. Gonzalez (2007) in which Meadows, along with Carhart, was a plaintiff. Carhart and Meadows argued unsuccessfully against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (2003).
If you want an abbreviated version, contact Iowa Right to Life by phone 877-595-9406 or email www.iowaRTL.org and they will send you a two page summary, “Get the Facts – Meet Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Medical Director Dr. Jill Meadows.” You really should have a copy of this to share with friends and family.
The horrors of abortion are performed in hell holes, like Gosnell’s, and in pristine facilities like University Hospitals, to everything in between.
I was relating some of this to a sister-in-Christ once and she stopped me and said, “Too much information!” Is it? Too much? Do we not want to think about the horrors, the savagery, the sacrifices to the heathen false god, Molech?
We need to be disgusted by what we, the church, have allowed to happen in the name of someone’s “rights.” Where is the outrage? Please pray that more people, especially those who have the power to change things, will join us in ending the slaughter. We owe it to our Lord and Savior. We owe it to His church. We owe it to the babies.
~~For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. ~~Hebrews 5:12-14
For more information about these Bills from the Iowa Legislatures homepage, click here.
April 14, 2013
IOWA HOUSE ATTEMPTS TO RE-ESTABLISH SEPARATION OF POWERS
House File 605 – “An Act related to the liability of a land holder for the public use of private lands and waters.”
In itself, a good bill that would provide protection to land owners (primarily farmers) from certain lawsuits arising from their making their lands and waters “available to the public for recreational purposes and for urban deer control, by limiting the landholders’ liability to persons who enter onto their land to pursue such activities.” This bill is important not only to the farm community that generously allows children and adults to experience the realities of rural life and nature’s wonders, but the educational opportunities they provide to city folks. That alone would warrant your support.
But as important as is this issue, the bill also restores and confirms a constitutional provision, the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches.
The Supreme Court in a ruling this year, Sallee v. Stuart (No. 11-392) (Iowa 2013) established landowner liability beyond legislative intent in Section 461C, Code 2013. In the second paragraph of the bill, “The general assembly declares that the holding of Sallee……is abrogate in its entirety as contrary to the general assembly’s intent for the construction of this chapter.”
Enacting HF 605 will put the Iowa judiciary on notice that they no longer will play unelected, unrepresentative “Legislature” without being challenged by the “real Legislature,” elected and authorized to write laws by the people of Iowa and its constitution.
It is not surprising that the Farm Bureau and almost every other farm-related organization are registered in support of the bill. Of course, the Iowa State Bar Association and the Iowa Association for Justice, another lawyer group, are registered against HF 605. They are, in fact, the only organizations registered against this very important piece of legislation.
We urge you to contact your legislators and the leadership of the House of Representatives to bring up and pass HF 605. Let’s end judicial tyranny in Iowa. It could spread to other states and, hopefully, to Washington, D.C. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION WE WILL ASK YOU TO PROMOTE DURING THIS SESSION OF THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
You have our permission and will be grateful if you will forward this ALERT to any e-mail lists of people concerned with the separation of powers and honoring our Constitution.
The courts and the left are already mobilizing to protect the usurpation of powers the judiciary has practiced for decades. You sent a message in 2010 by denying three “Supremes” the opportunity to continue to ignore the Constitution. Now let’s send them another message via HF 605.
If you go to the Legislature’s web site to view HF 605, click on Lobbyists’ Declarations on the left side of the screen to see exactly who does and does not support HF 605.
If you are a registered lobbyist, we call your attention to HF 605 and to consider how you might respond to this information.
For more information about this Bill from the Iowa Legislatures homepage, click here.
March 18, 2013
Funnel Takes All Pro-Life Bills
The first funnel date came and went and all pro-life bills went with it. We didn’t expect that any of the “life at conception” bills or any of the limits on abortion would make it to the calendar in either chamber. We had hoped to at least get the web-cam abortion bill through the committee process and on the House calendar.
HF 173 would require a physician who performs a “medical abortion” to do so only in person and in a location “with the capacity to provide surgical intervention in cases resulting in an incomplete abortion or severe bleeding.” The bill was mischaracterized by both abortion foes and abortion supporters alike. We expected abortion supporters, including Planned Parenthood, to oppose the bill. Planned Parenthood does about one half of its abortions, around 2,000 per year, by web-camera, without a physician being physically present. The intent of the bill was to stop Planned Parenthood from performing these abortions. Physicians already have the right to perform “medical or chemical” abortions as well as surgical abortions. The bill was not legalizing anything that is not now permitted by the FDA’s approval of RU486.
A pro-life organization, claiming a more perfect “Bible worldview” on the life issue, aligned itself with the opponents of the bill to help kill it. The following organizations registered AGAINST HF 173: Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Iowa Pro-Life Action, The Iowa Clinic, P.C., Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Family Planning Council of Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa (ACLU-IA).
The following organizations registered FOR HF 173: Iowa Property Rights Council, Concerned Christian Americans, Concerned Women for America of Iowa, The Family Leader, The Family Leader Foundation, Americans United for Life, Iowa Right to Life Committee, Iowa Catholic Conference and Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.
HF 173 which was passed by a Human Resources Committee subcommittee was not considered by the full committee and, therefore, died. We were told by leadership that there were not enough votes on the full committee to pass the bill onto the calendar. One reason for that was the strong opposition to the bill by two Republican House members, Rep. Tom Shaw (R) of Laurens and Rep. Greg Heartsill (R) of Columbia.
Representatives Shaw and Heartsill claimed the bill was putting abortion into the Iowa Code for the first time (Abortion is referred to in the code in at least 5 different sections.) They may also have agreed with critics of HF 173 who, in an unwarranted, untrue, and un-Christian attack letter distributed in Rep. Matt Windschitl’s (R) district, stated the following about HF 173:
“This year Matt Windschitl introduced HF 173 which he says will stop a handful of abortions.” (More than 2,000 is a handful?)
“But, while I think Matt still means well, this bill is the worst thing I’ve seen in several years.” (If the critic had spent any time at the Capitol, I’m sure they would have seen a number of bad bills.)
“That’s because HF 173 would also:
- Specifically authorize doctors how and when to conduct medical abortions, thereby legalizing abortions legislatively for the first time in Iowa history.”
Not true. There are several references to the provision of abortion in the Iowa Code. This bill would regulate what is already a legal medical procedure. That’s why a physician organization registered and spoke against HF 173 at the subcommittee meeting.
- “Allow abortionists to use nasty ‘chemical abortions’ like RU486 to kill unborn babies.”
As I stated before, physicians already can prescribe RU486. HF 173 would prohibit the use of telemedicine, prescribing a miscarriage-producing drug by computer Skyping as Planned Parenthood is now doing in rural Iowa.
- “Make it harder to pass Life at Conception/Personhood bills here in Iowa by establishing legal roadblocks like this.”
Totally false. HF 173 would be no hindrance to a personhood or any other pro-life bill. At the same time Rep. Windschitl and 15 other Republicans submitted HF 173, he and 11 other Republicans introduced HF 171: “An Act relating to the definition of person under the criminal code.” If HF 171 had passed and become law, HF 173 would be unnecessary and moot.
As you can guess from this report, I am very frustrated and disappointed with what is going on in regard to the right to life battle at the Capitol. Christians are calling other Christians’ faith and obedience to Christ into question simply because they disagree on tactics and process. Some are purposely misleading the supporters of the pro-life movement, insulting pro-life warriors of long standing, and exaggerating their own efforts to save the unborn. To be blunt, I think it’s more about them than the babies. When I see them, as I have seen many of the people they are savaging and demeaning, on their knees outside an abortion facility praying for God to stop the murder, I may give them some of my attention.
Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition believes that life begins at conception, that it comes from our Creator and not the state. That, except for rare instances where the mother is in jeopardy of losing her life, we expect a treating physician to abort as a last resort after trying his or her best to save both lives. We do not consider rape and incest a valid exception to the recognition of personhood and do not endorse candidates who hold rape and incest as a valid exception.
We support without reservation the establishing of “personhood” from conception to natural death into both federal and state law. However, we reject the notion that we should allow the killing of all the unborn until we can save all the unborn. We will pursue legislation to thwart the killers at every turn. Passing a “personhood” bill cannot be a prerequisite to the passing of other pro-life legislation.
If you have any questions about what I have written here about any of the organizations involved, I suggest you go to their web sites or contact me. I will be happy to assist you in getting the facts, not the hype, fiction, or self-aggrandizement.
Currently, in regard to abortion, Iowa is the most liberal state in the union. Let me repeat that another way. Iowa has the most liberal abortion laws in this country. Abortion is legal, with fewer exceptions than even liberal New York.
I will be seventy-nine years old this May. Time for me is getting short. I would like to see Iowa live up to its reputation as a state that respects and protects life. It currently does not.
For more information about these Bills from the Iowa Legislatures homepage, click here.
~~Luke 18:9-14~~ And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” ~~
March 4, 2013
I’m a little behind in communicating with you about what’s happening under the golden dome. There are several reasons, some personal (out-of-state family with serious health issues) and a lack of any movement on issues of interest to you and to me.
The family health matters are not over but there has been some lessening of their degree of crises. I solicit your prayers for my wife (who is also my proof reader, editor and typist) Rose Marie and her family in Albany, Phoenix and Las Vegas. As they say, “Getting old is not for sissies.”
As for the Legislature, not one pro-life, pro-family, second amendment, voter fraud prevention or tax relief bill has made any progress. For some of these issues, Friday, March 8th is a critical date. The first funnel, a joint rule designed to reduce the number of bills in the system, is triggered on that date. Bills have to have cleared the committee of origin on that date (i.e., House bills out of their House Committee, Senate bills out of their Senate Committee). Failure to do so renders the bill “dead.” A bill can be resurrected but unless there is some juice or a very stubborn legislator pushing a particular bill, it is unlikely. Therefore, most of the bills I have reported on in previous reports and that I will reference in this report are on the chopping block.
Sen. Dennis Guth (R) and seventeen Republican senators have introduced SJR 5 (Senate Joint Resolution 5) which defines marriage specifying that it is legal only between one man and one woman. It is highly unlikely this Constitutional Amendment will be acted on in the Senate. Majority Leader Sen. Mike Gronstal has decided that the people of Iowa do not have the right to vote on this issue.
A similar amendment will be introduced, probably this week on the House side. Since not every Republican and certainly no Democrats are supporting Rep. Dwayne Alons’ (R) bill, its chance for consideration and passage in the House is also dubious.
It appears that Iowa’s voters are not willing to vote to overturn the Iowa Supreme Court’s illegal decision to declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right. At least that’s what the pundits are telling us. If that is the case, that same-sex marriage is now acceptable to a majority of Iowa’s citizens, then why don’t the Democrats let them vote on the issue and settle it. Seven black robed liberals who usurped the power of the legislative and administrative branches should not have the final word on an issue so important to the health and well being of the culture.
I was not intending to devote this report to the issue of the Marriage Amendment, but after hearing a local talk show host, with whose opinions I often agree, I decided I needed to vent and again bring to your attention the reasons that both believers and non-believers should oppose same-sex marriage.
The talk show host, commenting on SJR 5 said in essence, “Get over it; the issue of same-sex marriage is dead. Iowa voters spoke during the 2012 elections and it is over. They voted to retain Judge David Wiggens by a comfortable margin and re-elected pro-gay marriage legislators like Sen. Mike Gronstal.”
Does that mean that people who have a biblical worldview should abandon their opposition to what God clearly states is an abomination? Not hardly. God’s Word and its truth and relevance for our culture is not subservient to the whims of the voters. It is immutable, unchanging and not subject to the approval of the people. They can, however, deny His truth or reject His counsel, but they do it to their detriment. He does know what is best for His creation and that’s why He gave us His Word. So for believers, public opinion should have no bearing on our beliefs about what is and what is not moral or profitable for us and for our community. So for me and you who honor and respect the Word of God, our obligation is to continue to advocate for laws that profit our fellow man and are in the best interest of a civilized society, even if that society rejects our counsel. Sir William Blackstone said, “The law is the embodiment of the moral sentiments of the people.” Immoral sentiments lead to immoral laws and immoral laws lead to immoral behavior which affects all of us, not only those engaging in the behavior.
That transitions me to my Public Health reasons for objecting to same-sex marriage. I spent twenty-five years working in public health, twelve as Commissioner of Health for the State of Iowa. My introduction to public health was with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a public health advisor in venereal disease prevention (now called sexually transmitted diseases STD’s). We were focused on only two diseases, Syphilis and Gonorrhea. Now there are dozens of STD’s, with HIV/Aids being one of the most deadly. Although there are treatments now available to slow the disease’s progress, it is still a killer and overwhelmingly a male, homosexually transmitted disease. Why is that relevant to the marriage issue? Because for the most part, activists who are pushing this issue in the U.S. and some European countries are doing so to promote their agenda of normalizing homosexual behavior.
These activists are not interested in gaining hospital visitation privileges, inheritance rights or any of the other equal rights they claim have been denied them because of their inability to marry. Not all homosexuals are activists and promote the lifestyle. Many of them know that the homosexual lifestyle is toxic. Sexually active homosexual men lose between eight and twenty years of life expectancy. Monogamy, meaning long-term sexual fidelity, is rare in homosexual relationships, particularly among males. Suicide, alcoholism, drug dependence, STD’s and other serious medical and mental consequences are the result of excessive sexual promiscuity, a trait that dozens of studies attribute to the homosexual lifestyle. But don’t take my word for it, Google “health risks of homosexuality” and you will be directed to studies, some done by gay friendly groups and relatively neutral sources like the CDC that verify what I’ve written.
Homosexuality is not just an alternative lifestyle that we as a society should promote. It would be analogous to promoting any other risky behavior like drug use, which some states are promoting by legalizing pot. Some European countries have legalized hard drugs and are now beginning to realize that encouraging self-destructive behavior is costly to the individual and the collective.
Homosexual activists and lifestyle promoters will deny or downplay the negatives outlined here but there are no Public Health benefits that result from this risky behavior. Not one study justifies promoting homosexuality.
For more information about these Bills from the Iowa Legislatures homepage, click here.
~~Isaiah 3:4-5~~ And I will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them, And the people will be oppressed, each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; The youth will storm against the elder, And the inferior against the honorable.~~
~~Isaiah 5:20-23~~Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And clever in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, And valiant men in mixing strong drink; Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!~~
February 8, 2013
IOWA’S HIV SEX LAW
A Des Moines Register editorial (Opinion – Saturday, February 9, 2013) opined about Iowa’s only openly homosexual legislator “pushing legislation that would reduce penalties for HIV-positive Iowans who have sex without disclosing their illness. Rather than a lengthy prison term, he is pushing for a maximum of five years and fines of up to $7,500.” Under current law (passed in 1998) it is a felony to “willingly expose someone to HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. A person who knows they’re infected and engages in ‘intimate contact’ can face up to 25 years in prison. They can be found guilty even if they took precautions, even if the other person didn’t contract the virus.”
The editorial writer bemoans the fact that people have been convicted (15 out of 25 charged) and that Iowans were paying for the prison stays of eight of those who were convicted. Wow, what an injustice. The fact that these perpetrators put at risk the health and/or lives of their victims seems not to be relevant.
The Register stated that since there is now a treatment for HIV-AIDS it is no longer a death sentence to contract it. Really? Sorry folks, no treatment for a disease as horrific as AIDS is 100% effective. Also, the cocktail of drugs an HIV positive person has to take is expensive, has sometimes serious side effects, and as I said, not guaranteed to stop the progression of the disease. They also said, “It is not a crime to transmit the flu, which kills more Iowans than AIDS each year.” Well, DUH, tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Iowans, get the flu each year. They are exposed to the disease by airborne transmission, not the sharing of needles (drug users) or homosexual sex (approximately 90+% of exposures). To equate intentionally exposing another person to a still deadly disease like AIDS to passing along the flu because you sneezed at the office is a silly argument and unworthy of a supposed journalist.
They made some other equally silly and moronic arguments for abolishing the law, which I won’t even mention. I wonder if they have high school seniors or college freshmen on their editorial staff; anyone know?
I don’t think our only openly homosexual legislator, Senator Matt McCoy, has finished his draft of the bill, but once it is introduced I will get you the Senate File number.
P.S. I was State Health Commissioner when the first five cases of AIDS (at the time referred to as Kaposi’s sarcoma) in young homosexual men were identified by the Center for Disease Control. All five died.
BILLS OF INTEREST
In the Senate, SF 19, SF 20, SF 21, SF 44, SF 130, SF 139 and in the House HF 106:
Each of these bills either ban the use of traffic cams, establish a maximum fine or direct how the fine proceeds are to be spent by the city or county.
Although the cities and counties that utilize traffic cams claim it’s about safety not revenue enhancement, they oppose bills that direct the revenues to be distributed to local charities or the road use fund or the secondary road fund. It is about the revenue and it is about their general fund.
Do I think any of these bills will get a fair hearing and make it to the governor’s desk? No, no, a thousand times, no. Gronstal likes traffic cams and what Gronstal likes, he gets. His caucus would follow him to Hades.
Property Rights (United Nations Agenda 21)
HF 11 – introduced by Pettingill (R) and Watts (R)
Current Code Section 18B.1 enumerates the “Iowa Smart Planning Principles.” These principles are ten principles that state agencies, local governments, and other public entities are required to consider and may apply during deliberation of all appropriate zoning, development and resource management decisions. The ten principles can be traced to the United Nations’ efforts to inject themselves into this country’s local planning and development efforts. We favor this bill, but some county boards of supervisors, city councils (most, if not all, controlled by liberals), AARP, and other liberal organizations are opposed to HF 11. I think it will pass the House but passage in the Senate is doubtful.
HF 66 – introduced by Watts (R) and 26 other Republicans
This bill would prohibit the implementation of United Nations’ Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is an international environmental action plan of the United Nations relating to sustainable development.
Again, the liberals love Agenda 21 and supposed “smart planning.” They mock conservatives for trying to protect and enforce our Constitution and not the power grabs of the United Nations.
HF 76 – filed by Watts (R) and six Republicans
This “bill specifies that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the State of Iowa including but not limited to due process; freedom of religion, speech, or press; and any right of privacy or marriage embodied in the Constitution of the State of Iowa.”
There’s a lot more in this bill and what’s in it is important to your continued liberty. Please read it and talk to your friends and relatives about supporting it. Don’t be a low-information citizen.
Abortions – Right to Life
SF 29 – introduced by Sen. Zaun (R)
“This bill restricts the use of funds appropriated under or appropriated to any trust fund pursuant to federal health care reform legislation for use in this state, by prohibiting expenditure of such funds for an abortion” with few exceptions, life of the mother being one.
This bill would prohibit using your tax dollars or premium dollars for abortions under “Obamacare.”
SF 45 – introduced by Sen. Zaun (R) and eleven Republicans
This bill prohibits abortions, except to save the life of the mother after 20 weeks gestation. This is the same bill that was referred to as the late-term abortion prohibition bill last year. It was also referred to as the “keep Carhart out of Iowa” bill.
HF 138 – introduced by Shaw (R) and eight Republicans
This bill defines “person” in the context of the victim of the crime of murder to be an individual human being without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when the zygote is formed, until natural death.
This bill is controversial among pro-life, pro-abortion, and I don’t care Iowans, not so much for what it does say, but for what it doesn’t say. Who would be charged with murder if an abortion is performed is left to local law enforcement and how those decisions would be made is one of, but not the only, question.
HF 171 – introduced by Windschitl (R) and eleven Republicans
Similar to HF 138 in that it defines what is a person under the criminal code and also describes what does and does not constitute a crime against a person.
I urge you to read both bills carefully but please understand that neither of these bills will make it to the governor’s desk. I’ll let you know when it’s clear, which of these bills may make it out of the House.
HF 173 – introduced by Windschitl (R) and fourteen Republicans
This “bill defines ‘medical abortion’ as the use of a medication…to terminate a pregnancy and provides that only a physician shall prescribe, dispense, or administer any medication for the purpose of inducing a medical abortion.” It also requires that the physician shall “comply with all federal regulations relating to the prescribing, dispensing, and administering” the medication. He must also administer the medication “in person” and in a “clinic or hospital with the capacity to provide surgical intervention in cases resulting in an incomplete abortion or severe bleeding.”
This is a pro-life bill only to the extent that it seeks to protect the health and life of the pregnant woman or girl but not the baby. It seeks to prohibit the callous and careless Planned Parenthood chemical abortion service which violates all the protections offered in this bill. The women and young girls currently receiving chemical abortions from Planned Parenthood are at great risk, have experienced some of the complications this bill would mitigate or prevent and are being ignored by the Board of Medicine, the Department of Health and the other state professional licensing boards that have a responsibility to protect them.
I would hope that the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association and the other medical professional organizations will support HF 173 in the interest of quality health services.
Can anyone explain why the ACLU-IA. registered in opposition to a bill that ensures quality healthcare and safeguarding the lives of Iowa’s women? Why are they dedicated to protecting the less than a quality standard of care provided by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland?
For more information about these Bills from the Iowa Legislatures homepage, click here.
~~Hebrews 4:11-16~~Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.~
February 1, 2013
Republican Party and Homosexual Marriage
This report is usually focused on the Legislature and what happens under the “Golden Dome” of the State Capitol. Party politics or other political news is addressed only if it has a direct and sometimes indirect impact on the state legislative process.
The Tuesday, January 28th article by Jennifer Jacobs entitled, “GOP strategists: Iowa Republicans should come out for same-sex marriage,” is a proposal we at IFFC cannot ignore.
It is no secret that IFFC is a non-partisan, biblical worldview organization that supports the efforts of voters and politicians who advocate for smaller government. One based on principles that preserve and advance the cultural morality which has proven, over time, to be most beneficial to the governed. I have stated in previous reports that the Democratic Party, as evidenced by its platform and the votes of its elected and non-elected supporters, has veered so far to the left that I don’t recognize it as my Democrat father’s party any longer. Same-sex marriage is only one issue that separates me and many former Democrats from their party.
If you haven’t read the article I referred to, and you have access to the Des Moines Register’s website, please read it. If not, you can get most of it from an article on “The Iowa Republican” website.
At “private meetings with GOP elected officials and operatives from across the state, Ken Mehlman, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005-2007 and managed George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, has been urging party leaders to recognize the evolution in thinking and demographic shifts in Iowa and the nation.” In essence, urging the Republican Party to “support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.”
I disagree with the statistics and philosophical statements Mr. Mehlman made to support his position. His statement that, “Republicans have an opportunity to both stand up for values that are core to our philosophy–freedom, family values and the golden rule—and to do the right thing politically by allowing adults who love one another to have access to civil marriage.” This is the standard “talking points” argument homosexual activists have been making for years. It is a specious and typical far left liberal argument that has been rejected by Republicans for years.
David Kochel, the top Iowa adviser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign accompanied Mehlman at some of his meetings with Iowa Republicans. His statements, coming from a supposed Republican, bordered on ridiculous and naïve to say the least. He said, “Frankly the culture wars are over and Republicans largely lost.” He also said, “If we’re the party of freedom and liberty, then we should be for personal freedom and individual liberty and that extends to marriage as far as I’m concerned.” Mr. Kochel, we’re for liberty, not license. Your way of thinking leads to cultural decline and chaos, not freedom.
So Republicans lost the last election because we favor and advocate a traditional God-given definition of marriage. How about abortion, less dependence on government largess, enforcement of our immigration laws, respecting and enforcing rights granted us in the Constitution, supporting our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, and our friends elsewhere in the world? How about honoring and obeying the laws of our Creator Who has blessed this country immeasurably?
Mr. Mehlman and Mr. Kochel are without a doubt progressives, or more accurately, far-left liberals. Rather than try to make the Republican Party into the Democratic Party, they should take a short cut and join that party. I’m sure they would be welcomed.
I also feel a need to comment on another story not related directly to the Legislature and the Capitol.
Senator Tom Harkin, after 40 years in Washington, D. C., has decided not to seek re-election. I’ve read and heard comments from his supporters and even some non-supporters thanking him for his years of service. Exactly to which service are they referring? If it’s his military service during the Vietnam War, I second that. As a veteran of the Korean (police action) war, I respect every veteran’s honorable service, regardless of whether they saw combat or not. But if they are including his years in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, he gets no thank yous from me.
He started out pro-life and switched to pro-abortion when he ran for the Senate. During his tenure over 50 million babies were killed in the womb. He voted against outlawing partial-birth abortions and was an ardent supporter of the largest abortion provider in the U.S.A., Planned Parenthood. He was regarded as one of the top three liberals in the Senate and a big spender who helped his party bankrupt our Country, all the time enriching himself either directly or through his wife. He has become a multi-millionaire whose principle residence is in Bermuda, not Iowa.
I’m sure he did some good things for his supporters and possibly for Iowa, but not enough to pay for those 50 million plus babies that never got a chance to enjoy life in “the greatest nation on God’s green earth.” (I think Michael Medved refers to our nation this way.)
I Chronicles 16:8-12~~Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.~~
Psalm 2:1-12~~Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the
rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!~~
January 25, 2013
SHORT WEEK – MLK HOLIDAY
The Legislature observed Martin Luther King’s birthday. There was no session on Monday. On Tuesday, both chambers devoted most of the day to committee meetings.
Also on Tuesday, Concerned Women for America of Iowa held their annual legislative lunch, meet and greet and recruitment of prayer warriors for legislators. As usual, Tamara Scott and her “ladies” did a great job of turning out volunteers and legislators. Over the years I’ve had many legislators express their appreciation for the CWA’s “Encourage-a-Legislator” prayer packet program. If you or someone you know would be willing to pray for a legislator every day during the session, call CWA State Director Mrs. Tamara Scott at 515-577-4985 to get you started.
“TRUTH PROJECT” AT CAPITOL
Again this year, Rep. Jason Schultz of Schleswig, will lead a discussion of Focus on the Family’s, “Truth Project.” The meetings will be in Rm. 304, third floor of the Capitol, each Monday, at 10:00 a.m. for 13 weeks. Even if you can’t make all thirteen sessions, you will benefit spiritually and intellectually from every session you can attend.
Two identical bills of interest have been filed in both chambers dealing with voter identification.
HSB 23 (House) and SSB 1012 (Senate) have been proposed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz and assigned to sub-committees of the State Government Committee in each House. These bills relate “to proof of identification and proof of residence in order to register to vote or to vote.”
These are controversial bills which a judge has said must be enacted before they can be challenged by the Iowa Civil Liberties Union and others. Unless the Democrats, who generally oppose voter ID, want a judicial decision, this issue will die in Gronstal’s Senate.
As I suspected, the two pro-life bills introduced last week by Sen. Bill Anderson (R) were assigned to a sub-committee controlled by Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D) and Sen. Jack Hatch (D). Senate File 13 and Senate File 14 will go the way of every pro-life bill that was introduced in the Senate or messaged over from the House that was assigned to these two ardent abortion supporters. Senator Bolkcom’s ex-wife ran (she may still) an abortuary in Iowa City. Sen. Hatch’s excuse is a desire for higher office (Governor? U.S. Senate?) as a Democrat, dependency on Planned Parenthood money and support and commitment to the far left of his party. Interestingly, Sen. Hatch has introduced SF 16 which “requires minors (under 18) to have parental consent for a tattoo, piercing or body modification.” Yet he vehemently opposes parental notification and/or consent for any minor child to undergo an abortion. Silly? Yes, but also very sick.
In my last report I stated that Chief Justice Cody requested a 3.5% increase (about $165.5 million). An alert reader did the math and figured out the budget for the Court would be about $4.7 billion. That is not right.
What I should have said is that in the $165.5 million budget is an increase of 3.5%. Thank you John Stewart.
If you are like me, you struggle with being in the world but not a part of it. The Apostle Paul tells us in Rom. 12:2~~And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.~~
To the Corinthians, he says ~~Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.~~1Cor. 2:12
I’ll share more with you about separating from the world in future reports.
January 18, 2013
In my last report, I stated this session of the Legislature is scheduled to last 120 days. It is slated to adjourn on May 3, 2013; that is 110 days. Thank you, Rep. Dwayne Alons, for calling this to my attention.
I also want to thank Rep. Alons and his wife, Clarice (who clerks for him) for again hosting and managing the Thursday morning Capitol Bible Study time. Dwayne and Clarice recruit people to lead each session, send out invitations, and generally do what is necessary to keep things moving. They have been hosting this time of prayer, Bible sharing and fellowship for many years. (I’ll let you know how many in my next report.)
I estimate that between 20 and 30 people are present each Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. They are not all legislators. State employees, House and Senate pages and anybody who wants to, can come. This week, eight first-term state representatives and one first-term senator were in attendance. A number of re-elected incumbents were also present. By the way, even though partisan politics is never discussed, and everyone is invited, the attendees are overwhelmingly Republicans. Over the years, the occasional Democrat has attended, but noneregularly. That has not always been true. When I first attended these
meetings in the late 1970’s, the hosts were Rep. Elmer Den Herder and his wife, Christine, from northwest Iowa. A few Democrats were regulars. One of them was State Senator Leonard Boswell. I wonder what happened to him.
Also on my “oops” list is my failure to mention Rep. Ross Paustian as an incumbent who lost re-election and would be missed by pro-life and family values supporters at the Capitol.
ALL THAT SPEECHIFYING MADE MY HEAD HURT
As I said in my last report, most of the first week of the session is devoted to orientation,
housekeeping, elections of officers of each chamber and a lot of speechifying.
On Monday, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Kraig Paulsen, Speaker Pro-Tempore, Rep. Steven Olson, Majority Leader, Rep. Linda Upmeyer, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, all gave the usual “Let’s work together to do the people’s work” speeches. I think Democrat Minority Leader McCarthy who said Iowa is neither “red” nor “blue” but the “purplist of purple states” made the most ardent call for bi-partisanship and working
together to produce “substantive” success. I suspect many of the Republicans who were at their desks when Rep. McCarthy was the Majority Leader were thinking: “Sure, as bi-partisan as you and Murphy were a few years ago when you had the power.”
On Tuesday, the governor gave his “Condition of the State” address. In about 35 minutes he outlined what he hopes to accomplish during this session and what he needs to be able to do it. Reaction of his audience (mostly legislators) was mixed but tepid. I think the governor needs to seed some “applause starters” in half-friendly audiences. He also needs to pause and give his friends a chance to respond to his major points. Anyway, I like the governor. I think he’s doing a good job and I appreciate his service to the state.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Cady gave his “Condition of the Judiciary” speech. As usual the chief justice focused on getting more money for the judicial system. He
requested a 3.5% increase (about $165.5 million). At least he wasn’t as defensive and
ismissive of the court’s critics as he was in his first “Condition of the Judiciary” speech right after three of his former colleagues got the boot from Iowa’s voters. I still think he’s an elitist, based on his defense of the court’s homosexual marriage decision, a decision in which he participated, and his failure to understand why the people of Iowa took umbrage at the Court’s power grab. He continues to blame Iowa’s people exercising their constitutional right to reject judges on right wing crazies who want to politicize the judiciary. He misses the point that he and his usurpers, including that paragon of humility, David Wiggins, are the ones who are politicizing the courts.
I wonder how the court’s liberal supporters feel about the Supremes’ decision (unanimous, of course) that, in essence, said a woman who is too pretty and causes her boss to think “adultery” can be discriminated against in the workplace. Hmmmmm.
PRO-LIFE BILLS INTRODUCED
Two pro-life bills were introduced in the Senate this week by Sen. Bill Anderson of Sioux City.
SF-13 An act prohibiting gender-selection abortions, and providing penalties.
A similar bill was passed by the U.S. House recently but most likely will not be considered in the U.S. Senate. The objective of this bill is obvious. “Mothers” cannot choose to abort their child because of their gender. Does it happen? Yes! In this country? Yes. Is it widespread? It doesn’t matter. It’s wrong to abort for any reason, and for gender selection, it’s also wrong.
SF-14 An act relating to abortion-inducing drug safety and providing penalties.
The Iowa Board of Medicine, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, the Iowa Board of Nursing, the Iowa Board of Physician Assistants and the Iowa Dept. of Health are by their neglect allowing Planned Parenthood to place in severe jeopardy the lives of adolescents and women of child bearing age by the slipshod, unprofessional, illegal and dangerous operation of their Web-cam abortion services. Young women, some who are pre-teen, are undergoing induced miscarriages without appropriate safeguards to protect their
mental and physical health. This bill will require those safeguards and punish professionals who currently ignore them.
~~Psalm 1~~ How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in
the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so. But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.~~
January 14, 2013
LEGISLATURE TO RE-CONVENE
On Monday, January 14th, 2013, the 85th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature will gavel in. The first session of this assembly is slated to last 120 days. The Legislature can adjourn early (seldom) or exceed the 120 days. Since the 1st session is when the Governor submits his budget, the amount of agreement there is on the budget will determine its length.
The state begins its year with a surplus, which traditionally results in a mad scramble to spend it. With all the uncertainty about the economy, the cost of healthcare, availability of federal funds and everything else that can quickly drain state coffers, the wisest and most prudent thing to do would be to be “wise and prudent,” and not spend it because we have it. Urge your legislator to be careful with your money or give it back to you.
The first week of the session is devoted to a lot of “speechifying” and housekeeping. The new legislators will be sworn in, get a tour of the Capitol, choose desk location (by seniority) and generally get some instruction about how things work in their chamber (Senate and House). There are 12 new senators and about 25 new House members. Most of these 37 new legislators will receive a cram course on how state government does what it does. They will have to learn on their own why it doesn’t always do what it should and sometimes does what it should not.
We lost some good people in 2012. On the House side, we lost Jeremy Taylor, Bob Hager and Nick Wagner, incumbents who we could always count on to be there for the unborn and supportive of family values and other conservative legislation. On the Senate side, we lost incumbents Merlin Bartz and Shawn Hamerlinck. They will be missed. We also lost a few good challengers for both House and Senate seats. My hope is that they will try again, but I will understand if they don’t. Running for office is hard work and getting
beat after running a good race can be discouraging.
There was one Senate race whose outcome pleased me greatly. State Representative Nate Willems, the most disagreeable, arrogant, elitist, progressive young legislator I ever met or observed, tried to move to the Senate. He got beat. Thank you Senator Dan Zumbach, you gave me something to cheer about on election night.
ALMOST NO CHANGE
The Senate will continue to be controlled by Sen. Mike Gronstal with a two vote majority. I expect him to be as opposed to anything we are for and for everything we oppose. If he runs the Senate, and I have no doubt he will, as he did the 84th Assembly, little of real value to conservatives, and even moderates, will get done. But it is what it is; elections have consequences. We will do the best we can.
The House Republicans lost some of its majority. From a 60-40 advantage, they went to a 57-43 advantage. It is still an advantage and I expect the House to continue working hard to pursue a fiscal and socially conservative agenda. Representative Chris “landslide” Hagenow (he kept his seat by 29 votes; his first race was almost equally as close) was chosen by his caucus to be “Majority Whip.” Chris is a solid, pro-life conservative and a good legislator. We expect him to keep the caucus on the straight and narrow.
Fortunately, we still have Terry Branstad as Governor, Kim Reynolds as Lt. Governor, Matt Schultz, Secretary of State, David Vaudt, Auditor and Bill Northey, Secretary of
Agriculture. They, too, greatly influence the way your money gets spent.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM US THIS SESSION
We will try to keep you informed about what is really happening at the Capitol during this legislative session. You will get information about which bills you should be aware of, whether they are compatible with a biblical worldview or not and whether your action may or may not be warranted. As I get to know the new legislators, I will share my opinion of their worldview with you; that goes for the “old” legislators as well. Don’t hesitate to contact me through our website if you have questions or comments and to
introduce yourself to me when you are at the Capitol.
I will do my best to inform you, represent your views and serve our King.
~~Psalm 19: 7-14~~The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous
altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let
the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.~~